Every now and then it is important to take a step back and realize that technology is there to make life easier for all of us, not just millennials and other digital natives. A recent article in Bloomberg Businessweek discusses the added benefits of the evolution of the ATM machine for members of the older generation. The article begins by interviewing am 83-year-old woman, named Betty, about using the video teller ATM installed by a local bank at her retirement complex:
“The ATM I used for the first time, that was pretty easy,” she says. “But I told my friend, ‘You stand here and tell me what to do.’” Now if she needs assistance with transactions, she uses the video teller, which links her with a live teller, Kevin, at a branch of her bank some miles away, and Kevin can walk her through the process.
The article points out that many banks are installing such video teller machines in senior residential centers where they serve as an extension of the bank and help older people who are not as mobile as they once were to conduct their banking activities.
“Users can do almost everything they can at a normal bank branch—deposit and cash checks, make transfers between accounts, or pay a mortgage for a vacation home,” according to Businessweek.
Senior citizens are not digital illiterates, the article notes, and many are well set up to use digital financial services according to consumer survey data:
“A 2017 Pew Research Center study found that 67 percent of people over the age of 65 use the internet and 80 percent have a cell phone.”
But as technology continues to progress at an exponential pace it is very important for financial institutions to understand that education is going to play a primary role in the adoption and use of these new technologies. For example, Older Adults Technology Services recently worked with Capital One Financial Corp to create a series of short online videos called “Ready, Set, Bank.” If your financial institution currently does not have an education strategy, consider creating one since a smarter customer is a more profitable customer.
Overview by Ryan McEndarfer, Editor-in-chief at PaymentsJournal.com